Translated literally, Taekwon-Do means "Art of Hand and Foot Fighting".  It is more than that however.  It is the scientific use of the body in methods of self defence, someone that has gained the ultimate use of its facilities through intensive physical training.  As a martial art, it's discipline, techniques and mental training are the cornerstone for building a strong sense of justice, fortitude, humility and resolve.  It is this mental conditioning that distinguishes the true practitioner from one who only desires the mastering of the fighting aspects of the art only.

 The inherent values of Taekwon-Do are deeply rooted in the traditional moral culture of the Orient. On the technical side, defensive and offensive tactics are based on principles of physics, which teaches one how to generate maximum force by increasing speed and mass during the execution of a movement.

Always striving for excellence, General Choi presented Taekwon-Do as in a state of continuous evolution, open to changes that would improve its effectiveness.

Since the beginning, Taekwon-Do has never stopped evolving, driven by the strong will and a lot of hard work by its Founder. The leaders of the ITF today also recognize the need to evolve and they are equally passionate about the future of the organization.

The Founder of TaeKwon-Do Grand Master General Choi Hong Hi (1918 - 2002)


General Choi Hong Hi was born on November 9th, 1918, in the Hwa Dae Myong Chun District of Korea.

At the age of twelve he started to study Taek Kyon, an ancient Korean method of fighting with the feet. Later, when he was studying in Japan, he met a Karate teacher who helped him earn his first degree Black Belt in less than two years. He then intensified his training, striving to earn his second degree. Around the same time, he started teaching.

Conscripted into the Japanese army during World War II, he was posted to Pyongyang where he was imprisoned. Wanting to maintain his good physical and mental health during his imprisonment, he practiced karate, alone at first, then by teaching it to the staff of the prison and the other prisoners.

Becoming an officer in the new Korean Army after the end of the war, he continued to teach his martial art to his soldiers as well as to American soldiers serving in Korea.

His beliefs and his vision of a different approach to teaching martial arts led General Choi to combine elements of Taek Kyon and Karate techniques to develop a modern martial art. He called it Tae Kwon Do, which means "the way of the feet and the hands", and this name was officially adopted on April 11th, 1955.

In 1959, General Choi was named President of the Korean Taekwon-Do Association. Seven years later, on March 22nd,1966, he created the International Taekwon-Do Federation (ITF).

As the Founder of Taekwon-Do and President of the ITF, he had the ability to share his art with students everywhere. Today, Taekwon-Do training is available around the world.

After a life dedicated to the development of Taekwon-Do, a modern martial art based on traditional values, philosophy, and training, General Choi, Founder of Taekwon-Do and President of the International Taekwon-Do Federation, died of cancer on June 15th, 2002, in the country of his birth.

Taekwon-Do Today

Today Taekwon-Do has developed into a complete martial art offering benefits for everyone:

  • Those who are interested in competing find opportunities to participate in competitions at all levels.
  • Those who want to keep physically fit soon realize that Taekwon-Do training is a complete workout; their fitness level improves very quickly.
  • Those whose goal is to acquire self-defense skills learn effective techniques.
  • Everyone benefits from being physically active and becomes more self-confident.

Promotional gradings are conducted on a regular basis, where by students progress through the grades with the goal of attaining the coveted status of a blackbelt. There are ten colour belt grades leading up to Blackbelt, each grade requiring the student to have attained a required standard and attended a designated number of classes, the gradings are held locally by a qualified Examiner.

Through following our training curiculum, students will learn fundamental movements and application of these techniques by way of Patterns (Tul) and Sparring (Matsogi). The power and accuracy of the technique is tested by the breaking of boards.



As training in Taekwon-Do progresses student also benefit from the strong moral values of Taekwon-Do. This is reflected in the five Tenets of Taekwon-Do:

  • Courtesy (Ye Ui)
  • Integrity (Yom Chi)
  • Perseverance (In Nae)
  • Self Control (Guk Gi)
  • Indomitable Spirit (Baekjul Boolgool)

General Choi has set forth the following philosophy and guidelines which will be the cornerstone of Taekwon-Do and by which all serious students of this art are encouraged to live.
1. Be willing to go where the going may be tough and do the things that are worth doing even though they are difficult.
2. Be gentle to the weak and tough to the strong.
3. Be content with what you have in money and position but never in skills.
4. Always finish what you begin, be it large or small.
5. Be a willing teacher to anyone regardless of religion, race or ideology.
6. Never yield to repression or threat in the pursuit of a noble cause.
7. Teach attitude and skill with action rather than words.
8. Always be yourself even though your circumstances may change.
9. Be the eternal teacher who teaches with the body when young, with words when old, and by moral precept even after death.

(Excerpted from "Taekwon-Do" (The Korean Art of Self Defense)



There are six belts: white, yellow, green, blue, red and black. White is given to beginners and black is given to students who have progressed through the grades and have a solid foundation for learning the techniques of Taekwon-Do.

The definition of the belts are as follows :

White Belt
Signifies innocence, as that of the beginning student who has no previous knowledge of Taekwon-Do.

Yellow Belt
Signifies the earth from which a plant sprouts and takes root as the foundation of Taekwon-Do is being laid.

Green Belt
Signifies the plant's growth as Taekwon-Do skills begin to develop.

Blue Belt
Signifies the Heaven towards which the plant matures into a towering tree as training in Taekwon-Do progresses.

Red Belt
Signifies Danger, cautioning the the student to exercise control and warning the opponent to stay away.

Black Belt
Opposite of white, therefore signifying the maturity and proficiency in Taekwon-Do, also indicates the wearer's imperviousness to darkness and fear.

Students must grade through the following belts in the following order:

white belt given to the beginner (10th gup)
white belt yellow tags (9th gup)
yellow belt (8th gup)
yellow belt green tags (7th gup)
green belt (6th gup)
green belt blue tags (5th gup)
blue belt (4th gup))
blue belt red tags (3rd gup)
red belt (2nd gup)
red belt black tags (1st gup)
through to Black Belt (1st dan/degree).